Wednesday, April 20th Jacob Lew, Treasury Secretary announced the proposition to replace Andrew Jackson- a man criticized for his history as a supporter of slavery and even being a slave owner himself- with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
This means the front of the $20 will contain the portrait of Harriet Tubman, a woman who dedicated her life to fighting for liberty, while the back side will feature a view of white house and a picture of President Andrew Jackson.
It is following a commitment the Treasury Secretary made last year to have a woman on the $10 bill, one he revoked, and instead opted for the $20. The decision by treasury follows appeals by public campaigns advocating for a woman on the American currency.
The Image of Andrew Hamilton which currently graces the $10 bill will therefore remain unaltered. The Story behind this historically emblematic makeover dates back to the Civil War. Harriet was an active member of the Union Cause as a cook, nurse, and spy. She escaped slavery and led hundreds to freedom while she worked as a conductor of the Underground Railroad.
After her death in 1913, she is considered an abolitionist leader. Even after slavery, she was a strong supporter of the right of Women to Vote, therefore proving an important contributor to America’s history.
In a letter to Americans, Lew explains that this decision is paramount to America since it ensures the currency reflects on Women’s contribution to the Great democracy. Well the issue, as expected, has elicited diverse opinions among the American public, some concurring with the idea, others strongly opposing it.
Political figures have each ensured they give their opinion on the subject. Most recently, Donald trump- Republican front-runner- sees the matter as “political correctness”, suggesting maybe Tubman should have been put on another bill, like the $2 bill. Ben Carson shares the same view also suggesting the $2 bill as a better option.
We need this. We need this as a nation. pic.twitter.com/lg2emqQwzw
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) April 20, 2016
Twitter as usual was flooded with people’s views on the matter; Racist white supremacists ranting over the matter. Most however, see it as a progressive move. The new dollar bill will have a unique historical resonance. It is also meant to remind the American people that the country is not what it once was, but is a country of diversity. It also happens to be the same amount of money she received from the US government as monthly pension- interesting, Isn’t it?